Category Archives: Photography

World Turned Upside Down

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One year ago at this time I was setting up camp with my family in the ICU waiting room of the Florida Hospital in Zephyrhills filled with two conflicting emotions-fear and joy.  The morning of January 9, 2013 my cousin and his wife gave birth to their first born…a baby girl named Ruth.  So happy for them and thrilled for my family to have a new little bundle to love and spoil.  I never imagined a few short hours later by lunchtime my world would be turned upside down and has yet to be righted.

While teaching I received a text that my aunt was at the hospital with pneumonia.  I told my mom, who at the time worked with me, so we could rearrange our schedules and she could go up after school.  Just 15 minutes later, I received another text that stated that they were putting my aunt on life support. I was in told shock.  My mind filled with so many thoughts…tell my mom, make sure she gets to Zephyrhills safely, get my daughter taken care of so I could go up after school, get a hold of my aunt who was in a meeting, and this CAN’T be happening…I NEED my aunt.

Days passed as she was in a coma with her lungs bleeding and filling with fluids.  I would work and go up and sit in her room holding her, talking to her and trying to be so strong. A few times we got some positive news but it quickly would vanish as more despairing news would come.

Then came the time I had to let my little  6-year-old girl know her Nana was “really sick” and may be going to live with God.  This was not a new concept to her as she dealt with the death of her Papa Richard, the man who took care of her since she was a year old, when she was in kindergarten.  She of course wanted to see her Nana.  I was unsure…do I take her to see Nana filled with tubes and wires…do I not so she can remember Nana camping, playing, swimming, loving her, etc.

Finally progress was made and the ventilator was able to be removed, she was moved to rehab, and even made it home.  She even was well enough to attend the baby dedication of Ruth.

Cile and Ruth

Although so thrilled that she was able to be there, a sense of peace never came to me that her illness was resolved and she would continue to improve until she was back to where she was previously.  I have never really been a glass half full girl.

My greatest fears came true this past summer when we received the news that there was no cure for what had happened for her lungs and her only chance for a bilateral lung transplant.

My heart broke. Yes her title maybe aunt, but to me she is another mother.  I was so blessed that while growing up she and her family lived only 15 minutes from us.  Our families did EVERYTHING together.  God had blessed her with a son but not a daughter so I got to fill that spot.  In fact back then and even now if we are together other often think we are mother and daughter because even though she came into my family by marriage we look sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much alike.

And then it broke again as I talked with my little girl letting her know that Nana needed a new pair of lungs but I know I had to…I believe in being honest.

As of now we are still waiting for a set a lungs, we have had one close chance…but that is for another post.

As a family we have been there to support each other and we all have are ups and downs as we travel this path…but one thing we all know for sure it is in God’s hand and we can rest in whatever he does as his perfect will.

I love you my precious aunt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Perspective

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WormI took this picture a few weekends ago and although it seems strange it made me think of perspective. Some may look at the picture and think, WOW! Look at those tiny ants all working together.  While another may think, How horrible that while one is injured others take advantage. How vastly different those perspectives are.

This week while helping my daughter memorize her verse for Sunday School, Romans 12:18, If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

I promise, I think I can get all these thoughts to tie together, bare with me.

I have had a job since I was 15 years old. In all my years working, I have NEVER had a work year as horrible as last year.

There were lots of things that contributed to it be so bad.  And although I shared some of those things with those who I considered to be friends at work, I told no one everything that was taking place due to not being able to wrap my head around some of the things that were happening. Yes, I am mature enough to realize that no matter what was going on I am still responsible for my actions. Unfortunately I did allow it to alter some of my behaviors and I made some wrong choices with my friends. With the beginning of summer and putting some distance I saw the mistakes I made and apologized to what I considered to be 4 very, dear friends. I apologized for the things I knew I had done wrong and for anything that I was unaware that I had done.  I asked for their forgiveness and said if they wanted to talk they knew where to find me.  I thanked them for the friendship they had give and wished them and their families all the best.  From 3 of the 4 I get absolute silence and these are people that I was friends with for 11 years, 6 years and 5 years. From the 4 I get the occasional message usually after I have contacted them and attempt to be friendly but in a much different manner than we ever had. I am smart enough to know that their perspective of the situation maybe different (see I told you the crazy thoughts would all tie in).

The bottom line for me I guess is this question, “Do I continue to try and work on the friendships by sending text like: Hope things are going well.  Thinking of you.  Happy Holidays, etc.? Or do I let go, be thankful for the time we had and move on? And if I move on and am later contacted do I rekindle the friendship or just be cordial and continue about living. What are your thoughts/advice?

The Missing Student

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Buses

So I know often I see and think things differently. So while I was walking this morning I saw this and the empty slot made me think of the missing student.

That missing student comes in various forms and with a variety of reasons.

The most obvious missing student is the one who is absent. The reasons they are missing span an area wider than the Sahara Desert. Maybe they are home sick, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. It maybe that they lack the confidence to face the assignment in class. Or maybe this student lacks the skills to face the bully. Sometimes the student hides in fear at home unable to attend class until the bruises can be hidden and the tears can be dried up. Often one is absent because at a young age they have had to take on an adult world-due to an absent parent who has abandon the family and is busy working to make ends meet. And there is even the possibility that they are missing just because the value of education is not recognized by them or the ones who care for them.

But what about the student whose physical body is in the classroom but they are missing. Once again the reasons why are wide. It maybe that they are the quiet one overshadowed by the squeaky wheel who needs some oil. Or maybe the child who has already mastered the concept who must wait in silence for their classmates to understand. Frequently it is the child who is lost to what is being taught because although they are at a different learning level they are required to struggle through often to the point of frustration at their instructional grade level.  Sadly even sometimes maybe it is the student the teacher just can’t take anymore and no longer sees due to the frustration and stress the educational field has.

My prayer as a teacher is that the missing students in my classroom never go unseen and that I can meet them where they are with their needs.